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Bay to Breakers 2017

Everything you need to know to run (or crash) SF’s craziest race | May 21st
By - posted 5/16/2017

Bring your costumed, your semi-naked and your beer (try to be discreet) and participate in one of the largest races in America – one of the most strange and “San Francentric.”

The third Sunday in May brings us “Bay to Breakers,” the crown jewel of San Francisco events since 1912 with over 30,000+ people racing (and 100,000+ watching) from the Bay to the Breakers at the western end of Golden Gate Park in a costumed mass of everything we love about San Francisco.

Bay to Breakers is the oldest consecutively-run annual footrace in the world. 

106th Annual Bay to Breakers
Sunday, May 21, 2017 | 8 am to 12:30 pm
Howard St. / Hayes St. Hill / Golden Gate Park / Ocean Beach
FREE to Watch; $45-$75 to race

Where to pick up your racing packet – Runners may pick up their race packets at the 2017 Bay to Breakers Expo either Friday, May 19 – 11 am to 7 pm, or Saturday, May 20 – 9 am to 5 pm. The expo is free and open to the public.

WANT TO WATCH? Best Places to Watch Bay to Breakers 2017
Spectators line the entire course, but some of the best viewing spots are:

  • Pre-race: Climb atop a trash can near Embarcadero Station to get an over-the-top view of everyone in costume racing to the starting line.
  • Rival house parties with DJs and dancing typically line Hayes Street before the hill and Fell Street near Ashbury across from the Panhandle.
  • Along Alamo Square at the top of Hayes Street Hill: Amazing view of 30,000 people, all climbing Hayes Street.
  • Finish Line on the Great Highway
  • Free concerts: There are typically bands and DJs set up along the course – bands and locations will be announced closer to the race date.

WANT TO RACE? Runners Perks
To participate in the race, technically you have to register. But many people just show up anyway and become bandit racers. We won’t tell anyone. As long as you avoid the Howard Street starting area or the finish line, your chances of getting pulled out by the cops are probably slim. If you do register you’ll get an Under Armour T-Shirt, Finisher’s Medal and free hi-res race photosThe event is free to watch and is almost just as fun.

What’s allowed / What’s not allowed
Please note that supposedly more cops will be on hand to remove unregistered runners and hassle spectators for drinking in public and kicking out floats. Use your brain out there
. Read the FAQ.

No Booze / Beer – Bay to Breakers says they have a “zero tolerance” policy for runners and spectators.
No Floats & Carts – Sadly no more floats are allowed – no more strollers, skateboards, roller blades or bicycles either.
No Racing without an official bib – We’re not sure exactly how they’ll enforce this, but organizers say they’ll try to boot everyone from the course who hasn’t paid to reigster.
 No Backpacks – For obvious security reasons, unless it’s tiny and clear plastic, no backpacks are allowed on the course
Yes to Tortillas? – In the past few years the starting line tradition of tossing stale tortillas in the air was not allowed, BUT it’s not mentioned in the rules for 2017, so… throw tortillas at your own risk. 
Yes to Nudity? – There doesn’t seem to be any official Bay to Breakers policy for 2017 regarding nudity on the course. And the city’s public nudity ban has a special exemption for “appropriate venues” just like Bay to Breakers.

2017 Course Route Map
With a starting point near the San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from The Embarcadero, the 12K race runs west through the city and finishes at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto the Pacific Coast’s Ocean Beach.

The 2017 “Finish Line Festival”
The Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers Finish Line Festival comes to life as runners cross the finish line alongside Ocean Beach following the race. Runners celebrate in front of this iconic backdrop, while connecting with thousands of other finishers enjoying live entertainment and food and beverages.

Want to Volunteer?
Bay to Breakers is in search of friendly individuals to help bring this amazing event to life. They have a number of opportunities both at the pre-race Expo event at Pier 35 and on race day. Apply to be a volunteer.


Be sure to bring your costume!

Photo: Bhautik Joshi

Alamo Square Bay to Breakers Party

Photo: Gareth / tourist2townie.com

Photo: Phloating Man / Wikipedia

Photo: Bhautik Joshi

Photo: Owen Byrne


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